By Laura Edward

SEO made a big impact last year, and this year, it is expected to improve more. Businesses that invested in SEO in the past year have experienced significant improvements in their search rankings. Plus, their sites became more user-friendly and their presence became more visible online. Of course, they wouldn’t attain such success if they are not backed with an effective SEO strategy.

This year, if you want to take your business to the next level and you are not afraid to take the risk, perhaps you might want to consider investing in SEO. Don’t worry. We got you covered. We’ll share with you three of the smartest SEO strategies we know. Of course, depending on how you implement them, they can either make or break businesses. Well, if you are wise and determined, these strategies should not bother you at all.

1. Optimizing for Voice Search

The way we search for information on the web is obviously changing. Long ago, we had to log onto our computers, open our favorite search engines, and then start searching. Today, we can perform searches using our smartphones without having to type anything. All you have to do is to call out your device’s voice assistant and let it do the search. That’s pretty much it!

In 2017, voice search accounted for a number of searches. And it appears like it’s been widely utilized more and more. That only means it pays to take advantage of this new feature.

Now, how do you optimize your website for voice search? Unlike traditional searches that use keyword phrases which are entered into the computer, voice search sounds more conversational. That means it’s more natural and usually longer than the usual keyword search queries. More often, long-tail keywords and actual sentences are used.

Basically, when optimizing for voice search, your keyword strategy should be conversational in nature. If possible, it should mimic the way real people talk. Think about all possible questions that your potential customer will ask. Once you’ll have a list of keywords and questions, you can create web pages that focus on them.

2. Google+ Page

Since you are running a business, you need to make it visible online. The first step you have to take is to link the Google+ page of your business with Google My Business. This amazing tool allows entrepreneurs and business owners to conveniently update their business information across different Google platforms – Google Maps, Google Search, and Google+.

Once you have verified and linked your business’ Google+ page with Google My Business, it will be easier for potential customers to find you, regardless of the device they are using.

Another advantage of having a Google+ page is for you to dominate the local search results pages. Local searches can lead to more potential purchases.

Then again, do not just limit yourself to using Google My Business for updating your business information. You can also try out its other interesting features such as booking button, messaging, posts, questions and answers, and a lot more. Just get busy!

3. Image Optimization

When we talk about SEO, we don’t only refer to plain text. Since the needs of users are changing, search engines don’t only show blog posts and articles on the results pages. Now, images, videos, and ads are also being displayed. It is for that reason that you should begin optimizing your images.

How do you ensure that your imagery is search engine-friendly? The file name is the key. Today, there are billions of photos all over the web. If you upload an image and name it image.jpg, do you think it will get your name in the list? For sure, you’d be dumped into the pile. Hence, make it a habit to name your images accordingly. Be descriptive. Make it clear for the search bots to identify your images with a decent file name.

Additionally, search engines cannot read images. So, it helps if you use ALT tags to describe your photos and ensure they show up in relevant search queries. Use appropriate and related keywords in writing these tags.

Better yet, if you want your photos to rank in local search results, be sure you include local keywords in the tags.

Key Takeaway

As you see, there is no shortcut to rise to the top of search results. This is especially true if you have big competitors lingering on the scene. Then again, that is no reason to panic. With a smart SEO strategy, you can beat your competitors in certain key areas.

Starting today, take advantage of the new trends. Focus on location-specific keywords, optimize for voice search, and name your images accordingly. These may only be very simple things to do, but many failed to implement them properly. In fact, they usually get disregarded. Don’t be among these “many” who end up failing. Step up your game by studying and mastering these three strategies.

Photo credit: Search engine optimization concept from eamesBot/Shutterstock